Can students with additional Biology subject study MBBS: SC to decide on NMC plea
New Delhi: The Supreme Court bench has recently adjourned a plea filed by the National Medical Commission (NMC) challenging an earlier order of the Rajasthan High Court directing to admit an MBBS candidate by creating an extra seat in Government medical colleges in the academic year 2020-2021.
When the matter came up for hearing on Friday, the bench comprising of Justices L. Nageswara Rao, B. R. Gavai, and B. V. Nagarathna heard the counsel and listed the matter after two weeks.
The case concerned an MBBS aspirant who had appeared in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test, 2020 and secured 499 marks (percentile 93.5709828) in the exam. He had got NEET All India Rank at 87182 and in Scheduled Caste Category, secured Category Rank at 3641.
The student participated in the counseling process as well and at first he was considered for allotment of seat in Government Medical College but he was later denied allotment of any seat in-spite of his merit on the ground of having studied Biology, as an additional subject in Senior Secondary Examination.
After passing the senior secondary examination in 2017 with Mathematics, the student had passed the additional subject of Biology in 2018 and cleared the practical examination as well.
Taking up the matter before the Rajasthan High Court the student had pleaded in his petition that although the erstwhile Medical Council of India had amended the Regulations of Graduate Medical Education, 1997 and had barred students studying Biology as an additional subject at Class 12 level from applying in NEET 2018, the said amendment was challenged before the Delhi High Court, and the court had allowed the petition.
The student had thus contended before the High Court that on the basis of the order of the Delhi High Court dated 17.08.2018, a similar case was filed before the Rajasthan High Court as well and the court had allowed the benefit of admission to the candidate on the basis of qualification of Senior Secondary with Biology as an additional subject.
It was further contended by the Petitioner student that the Information Booklet, published by the Government, had specifically mentioned that the candidates who have studied Biology as an additional subject, shall be allowed to appear in the counseling, subject to the outcome of the SLP preferred against the judgment dated 17.08.2018.
The Rajasthan High Court had then had perused he Information Booklet and had observed that the qualifying criteria for getting admitted to the MBBS course mentioned that "The candidates who have passed 10+2 level with Biology as an additional subject will also be eligible for MBBS Entrance Examination (as per Hon'ble High Court Order No. 2341/- W/DHC/WRIT/D-1/2019 dated 24/09/2019 in the Writ Petition (C) No. 6773/2019."
"The Information Booklet left no room of doubt in the mind of the petitioner that he was eligible and possessing the requisite qualification and accordingly he appeared in the examination and further participated in the counseling process," the High Court had earlier observed.
The High Court had also mentioned that the petitioner student was a "meritorious candidate and deprived from getting admission in the MBBS Course for no fault of his and his right to get admission cannot be denied to him only on account of cut off date, fixed from time to time in different years, as per the calendar set out by the respondents and approved by the Apex Court."
Back then the High Court had clarified that-
(i) The petitioner had no fault of his own,
(ii) He had approached the court at the earliest without any delay,
(iii) There is an omission on the part of the Authorities and breach of Rules and Instructions.
(iv) The petitioner is more meritorious than the candidate who has been given admission in Schedule Caste Category.
(v) The last date of admission, as has come on record was extended by the Apex Court up to 15.02.2021 and the application for extension of time is still pending.
(vi) The admission process for the Academic Session 2020- 2021 in the State of Rajasthan is said to be completed on 31.12.2020 and the course is said to have started from 01.02.2021.
Thus, the High Court had then directed the State to create one additional seat of MBBS course in any of the Government Medical Colleges and make sure that the petitioner candidate gets admitted to it.
However, the order of the High Court was challenged by the National Medical Commission (NMC), which took up the matter before the Apex Court bench.
During the previous hearing on August 19, the top court bench comprising of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and B.R. Gavai had noted that "It is made clear that notice is confined to the point whether the respondent should be admitted to first-year MBBS course for the academic year 2020-2021 or the 2021-2022."
The matter again was listed before the bench on September 03, and after listening to the counsel, the bench adjourned the matter and listed the matter after two weeks.
To read the order of the Apex Court, click on the link below.